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Julien Baker gives Soundgarden’s Fell on Black Days a delay-drenched acoustic makeover with haunting new cover

Julien Baker has tackled one of Chris Cornell’s most iconic songs, Soundgarden’s Fell on Black Days, in a new performance on Seattle’s KEXP at Home.

At 42:54 in the video above, Baker strips back the song’s explosive powerchords for a delicate fingerstyle arrangement on her Yamaha acoustic-electric, swamped in delay from her expansive pedalboard.

Of her history with Cornell’s work, Baker says, “I’m a huge fan of all things Cornell and all of his iterations, but I am just particularly super-onboard with Audioslave. And I think that is because they have more of a visceral memory to me, because it was happening when I was growing up.

“I recently was doing a dive back into Soundgarden, and I heard this song, and it was just flooring. I think there are so many cuts off the Soundgarden records, it’s like, every song is so good and so complex, in a way that I feel like doesn’t – maybe it does get represented – but, you know, there’s so much more there underneath the seminal grunge band icon.

“His writing has always just been particularly haunting to me, but also it’s something that I feel very deeply. But it’s a beautiful song.”

The performance also sees Baker take up keyboards and her trademark Fender Tele for full-band arrangements of Faith Healer, Song in E and new single Hardline.

Baker’s new album, Little Oblivions, is out on February 26 via Matador Records – we’ll have more from the pedal-keen singer-songwriter on very soon…

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Digital Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World, having spent nine storied years contributing to guitar journalism and a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). He has written and edited for MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, and makes prog-ish instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.